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For a lot of us, the decision to speak up to be an excruciating one. If we stay quiet, we don’t risk ruffling any feathers. No one’s feelings get hurt and we come out of every situation unscathed. If we speak up, however, we could offend people. They may dislike us. Want to argue us down. Or badmouth us to others.

I’ve felt like that many times before. There have been moments when I wanted nothing more than to just say what I was thinking and feeling. But I stopped myself. Why? Fear of rejection. Possibility of ridicule. And the chance of being too offensive to clean up the mess I’d just made. Have you ever felt this way?

As women, we are socialized to be nice. And often, being nice means not saying something out of fear it will hurt somebody else’s feelings. We stay quiet out of politeness, overlooking the fact that us being silent chips away at who we are at our core. We all have opinions, ideas, passions, and fears. Stifling those things is in sharp contrast to our identity.

So, how do you speak up? How do you make the sift from a quiet conservative person to one who is comfortable and confident in their own style? Speak. That’s it. Start telling yourself that you are the person that you want to be (not just that you want to be that person). Speak to yourself in the affirmative. Speak of in the positive. And speak to and of others in the same way.

Why?

Because your voice is powerful. Your ideas are meaningful. Your thoughts are anything but idle. It’s time to stop being passive and start embracing the confidence that comes with fully accepting your authentic self.

Action step

Are you speaking the truth? Have you noticed yourself speaking up a bit more? Standing up for yourself instead of staying quiet? It’s not a coincidence. Stepping into the life you should be living often means making small changes in your current routine. And how you speak – to yourself as well as to others – plays a major role in that.

It’s time you found your voice to bring your intentions out into the open. It might catch people off guard when you’re suddenly open about your opinions rather than staying passive, but you deserve to be heard. You may come off abrasive at first, so begin to learn it, refine it and…own it.

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